***Chapter One (rtf)***
***Chapter One (epub)***
It happened again last night.
I sprawled lifelessly on my sofa, without the nerve to sleep alone in our...my...king sized bed the last few months. Will passed away unexpectedly last November. Since then I’d spent miserable and depressed days flipping emotionlessly through TV channels or napping on and off, as the rest of the world hummed and buzzed about its business with vitality. I no longer possessed even a vague interest. Driven from the world by my anguish, driven from the bed by my loneliness. As a result, I made my camp on the davenport.
But lately, in maybe the past week or so, this weird experience, or dream, or something kept happening. Just as I dozed off, right after the host of the Late Late Show said his goodnight, and just as my attention lost its already tenuous mooring, it happened again. The TV and all the lights in the room popped and dimmed, as if a sudden brownout had hit the city. Then the clasp. Cold, very cold fingers clutched my forearm, just above my wrist. Just as it had happened the nights before.
I jerked upright. My heart raced as panic filled me. Let go of me! I looked down but saw nothing. Though I could see no indentations on my skin, the grip remained tight and unyielding. I lurched off the sofa but the clutch never wavered. I felt trapped. I felt helpless. I felt like I was losing my mind. As I gasped to scream—another pop. The lights and TV brightened and the grip vanished.
Just as they had the other nights.
What the hell was happening to me?